Monday, December 3, 2018

Steve Watkins

Steve Watkins's new young adult novel is On Blood Road.

From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for On Blood Road and for your character Taylor?

A: I guess it grew out of the idea that we were all tourists in a weird way, in terms of our involvement in the War in Vietnam. During the war you actually could go there as a tourist, and many did.

Plenty of family members made the trip over--at least to Saigon and protected areas on the coast. Continental Airlines flew direct from the States, I think.

If you read accounts of the war from the American perspective, most of them barely mention the Vietnamese, except as marginal players--either illiterate villagers who were either Viet Cong spies or hapless victims, evil North Vietnamese who happily tortured, ambushed, maimed, and killed in cowardly ways, or prostitutes.

None of which was true, except in the popular American consciousness, and the terrible John Wayne film The Green Berets.

So I wanted to take a privileged kid from the States, clueless about what was really going on and not having to think too much about it, and drop him into the center of the insanity. Also...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue